Mr Prince Dlamini struggled with depression during his studies but persevered to graduate with a BA (Philosophy and Economics) cum laude degree.
‘When in the midst of a spell, I would see my marks plunge and recover again when I was in better shape,’ said Dlamini. ‘I am so grateful for the support from friends and family and also UKZN staff members whose help went beyond academics – it was something that always pulled me through.’
Dlamini said his undergraduate years were rewarding as well as challenging and frustrating. ‘UKZN staff are among the most empathetic and brilliant in their fields but they also push you to keep on achieving.’
‘A lot of students seem to adopt the attitude of “getting by”. What we need, I think, is one of excellence and intellectual rigour – not just in the classroom but outside as well and in the way we live our lives.’
Reflecting on the positives during his undergraduate years, Dlamini said: ‘Engaging with lecturers outside class showed the compassionate side of the University. This was powerful for me with my goal being to become an academic. Mrs Yolanda Hordyk recommended books which are now my firm favourites and I always go around trying to arm-wrestle people into reading them!’
He has this advice for other students: ‘Start strong and persevere. We always think we can catch up later – rather get into the habit of starting early and staying on track. It helps to reduce stress and will serve you well for your postgraduate studies where you need to have established habits for learning or you’ll struggle.’
Dlamini plans to study for an honours degree in Economics.